Fukushima Prefecture is intent on divulging and promoting their unique history. The declared mission of this prefectural project is to make international visitors aware of the cultural heritage of Fukushima, and to foster the understanding of the samurai spirit that still lingers in the regions, and is an integral part of the lives of many people.
Samurai Spirit Tourism is centred not only on visiting monuments and places of historical interest, but also on experiences that put visitors in touch with the cultural richness of the region and its centuries-old traditions.
In Fukushima, the local tour operators have been working on a range of experiential tours which allow visitors to be directly in touch with the true essence of samurai spirit, as well as the local traditions.
Visitors can learn not only about the martial arts that samurai would use in battle, and experience the kendo-like swordsmanship they employed, but also the cultural aspects of being a samurai.
1) Aizu Samurai Gozen: feel the richness of Aizu’s food
This programme allows visitors to enjoy the traditional cuisine of the Aizu region, the same that the samurais also ate everyday.
Aizu lacquerware, an exquisite craft dating back more than 200 years, produces nowadays the same type of crockery that samurai families used in the past to serve their meals.
This experience includes a live performance of frying tempura and beautiful Japanese dances performed by a geisha. Experience the heart of hospitality with all your senses through this programme.
2) Aizu Hongo Pyrography Experience
This tour allows visitors to step into the world of Aizu Hongo ceramics. Hongo-ware is a regional style of ceramics that originated over 400 years ago, and still holds a central role in the regional production of pottery. Visitors will visit the area where Aizu Hongo is produced and experience painting their own piece of pottery. Every participant will create their own ceramic artwork by decorating a Hongo-ware yunomi, a traditional Japanese teacup.
The workshop is located at Munakatagama, the area with the longest history in Aizu Hongo ceramics.
During the experience, visitors will also visit an old traditional kiln and will have time to shop for gifts.
3) Shirakawa Samurai Spirit Guided Tour
Shirakawa city has flourished since ancient times as a key transit point for travellers in Japan.
Nowadays, you can still feel the samurai spirit residing in many of the historical places.
This tour invites visitors to explore the numerous historical sites near Shirakawa with an experienced guide, who will explain the importance and intriguing stories of each location.
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Author: Deb Davad